Sunday, June 6, 2010

Living the Surabaya Life

5 weeks in and we still like it here. That's good, I guess. There's not much new to report except that we like it here. Work keeps us pretty busy. We don't work until around one in the afternoon, and we usually arrive back home around 9:30, at which time we eat dinner and fall asleep usually. By the time the weekend rolls around we could go travel somewhere. But it's a short weekend and we'd be moving non-stop if we did, and those two days of relaxing are very nice. We did make it to Yogyakarta, however.

Yogya was a fun trip. And we're mostly thankful that we got to go afterall. It was a long weekend so we made sure to book our train tickets well in advance. We didn't book our hotel, though. The week before we started calling hotel after hotel. All of them were fully booked. We called around 30-40 hotels, every number we could find. We found nothing. As a last resort, we signed up for couchsurfing and emailed a couple of people. They both responded that they couldn't host us, but one of them walked around and found us a hotel. It only took her about 15 minutes, too. Wow, we were, and still are, blown away by her kindness.

(A glimpse into rainy season, from our hotel in Yogya.)

We arrived Friday and she met us at the train station and took us to the hotel. Most of the weekend, we walked around the main street with tons of shops and stalls hawking batik. It was insane, and too much for us. Packed streets, becak drivers hassling you, and hustlers trying to rip off the bules (the Indonesian word for gringos). Apart from that street we had a good time. We ate some great food, saw some gamelan music, and went to Borobudur, the ancient (or at least very old - what qualifies as ancient, anways?) Buddhist temple. Borobudur was an experience all in its own. We got there about 5am for the "sunrise" tour to beat the crowd, only to find thousands of other tourists already there to look at one building. It was largely school field trips, which equals large groups of kids following us around and taking pictures of us, saying "Hello misterrrrrrrr, how arrrrrre you?" It was funny at first, but after being gawked at and laughed at for half an hour or so, we'd had enough. Yogya was a fun trip. Frustrating at times, but still fun, and we'll probably make it back there within the year.

One thing that has kept us busy lately is our new motorbikes! We got two dinky, fully automatic bikes, that we probably couldn't get up above 45 mph if we tried. But they sure are fun. We are taking it slowly and trying to practice a lot before we venture out into the crazy Surabayan traffic. I've started riding to work already, but I am super close and I can take back roads through the neighborhood almost the whole way. Sarah's got much farther to go to work, on main roads, too, so we'll get some more practice in before she starts riding to work.

All in all, we're having a great time here in Indonesia. There's not a day that goes by that we don't compare our experience here with that in Mexico, and think about how much better it is here. We have good friends here (and Will just got back, too!), the people are always nice and smiling, and our schools are great.

1 comment:

  1. 5 Months in Surabaya? I would love to stay here that long after being pampered by one of the best hotels in Surabaya where I spent an enjoyable week.